I will have a more in depth top 20 prospect look during the all star break, but I wanted to give you guys the initial top 20 look with a sentence about each prospect. I hope you will give me feedback on what you think of my selections and who you think I may have left out or what you think. You can either leave me a comment here or email me at email@example.com.
1 Byron Buxton- top prospect in all of baseball who can do it all and got promotion up to Fort Myers could be a Twin as soon as 2014.
2 Miguel Sano- Having a breakout year with the power skill; still strikeouts a ton, but he has 40 homerun potential. Likely will be a Twin in early 2014.
3 Alex Meyer- Don’t let this shoulder strain get you down as this guy can miss bats and his control is fixed. All this injury did was keep him from the majors for a year and in a way that helps the Twins as they will get another one of his peak years. Likely make debut late 2014 or early 2015.
4 Kohl Stewart- The Twins first round pick in 2013 is the real deal and will be really good as the top prep arm in this years draft. They will take their time with him as he is so young, but look for him to split rest of 2013 between GCL and E-Town and make full season debut in Cedar Rapids in 2014.
5 Eddie Rosario- Rosario has settled in nicely at 2nd base and he likely is the Twins 2nd baseman of the future. He will never be a gold glove 2nd baseman, but the kid can hit and will be a fixture in Twins lineup early 2014.
6 Jose Berrios- He has electric stuff and another guy who can miss bats with his low 90’s fastball and array of great breaking pitches. His upside is tremendous and if he can stay healthy the future is bright. Twins will take their time with him as his upside is so high so look for him in Target field around 2016.
7 Kyle Gibson- I watched today’s game and don’t pay too much attention to it as like any pitcher when you leave pitches up you are going to get hurt. Also not to put the blame on anyone else, but the Twins defense was not real great behind him today. With that said Gibson is a ground ball machine with a low 90’s fastball and a filthy slider that when on is hard to hit and if you swing all you can do is beat it into the ground. This is likely the last time he will be on a prospect list as I believe his minor league days are over.
8 Travis Harrison- Harrison a 2011 draft pick out of California is a very powerful man who is going to hit a lot of homeruns. His first year and a half he didn’t hit many homeruns, but you knew the power was there. Then this year in Cedar Rapids he has taken off by hitting 14 homeruns along with 24 more doubles and slugged at a .511 clip. For clarification Miguel Sano slugged at a .521 clip in low A last year. Harrison’s glove probably won’t keep him at 3rd, but they will find a place for him and likely will be the 1st baseman of the future for the Twins.
9 Trevor May- The Twins received May in the Ben Revere trade from the Phillies. He was held back by his control issues as at one time he was the top rated prospect for the Phillies. When he arrived this spring his control was erratic and his April numbers would attest to that. However he made some adustments and his numbers have been better ever since. At best I could see him as 2-3 at the major league level which is great. I see him being a September callup by the Twins this fall and gaining a rotation spot sometime early 2014.
Amaurys Minier- The Twins spent a lot of money to get him in the fold. In the International Free Agent season last summer the Twins paid 1.4 to get Minier. The great Seth Stohs has been quoted calling me Miguel Sano lite as he was signed as a shortstop, but his ultimate position will likey be third base. This year in the GCL he has played mainly 3rd and has had his ups and downs. You can see the power out of him, but he also strikes out a ton, but the reason he is rated this high is he is only 17 years old and has a boatload of potential and it will be interesting to see if he can reach that potential.
11 Max Kepler- Kepler was the highest paid bonus from Europe in the history of international signings until this year. He has unlimited potential and is so young that everyone salivated about the idea of Buxton and him in same outfield this year, but Kepler got injured and just got to Cedar Rapids. He has gotten off to a good start for the Kernels and he has limitless potential and it will be interesting to see how he does.
12 Kennys Vargas- After being suspended 50 games a couple years ago everyone kind of just forgot about him, but the last year in 117 games he has hit 24 homeruns and drove in 98 runs that is pretty impressive. Given the nickname little Papi as his manerism’s are very similar to Big Papi David Ortiz he swings like him as well. He has dominated the FSL offensively and is only still there to work on his defense. I think he eventually becomes a DH, but his power is impressive and he should be a Twin in 2015.
13 Jorge Polanco- After signing with the Twins for 800,000 the same year Miguel Sano signed for 3.15, Polanco kind of got lost and took some time to find his stroke. However, after dominating E-Town last year and Cedar Rapids this year it is time to take Polanco seriously as he has a good glove and can hit. He is hitting 3rd on a really good Cedar Rapids team so the bat is there and the glove is there.
14 Mason Melotakis- Melotakis is a power arm that the Twins drafted last year and the big question has been is he a starter or a reliever. As a starter he is consistently in low 90’s with 3 quality pitches. But in the bullpen he was throwing in the mid 90’s with dominating stuff. It will be interesting to see which way the Twins go, but for my money its hard to find a lefty with overpowering stuff so I would go with him in the pen.
15 Luke Bard- Luke Bard was another 2012 draft pick power arm. However, he has had to deal with injuries all year and its doubtful if we will see Bard on the mound in 2013. He has a mid 90’s fastball and good breaking pitches, but the question is can he overcome injuries.
16 Niko Goodrum- Goodrum is another guy that has had to deal with injuries as he had a concussion this year. Niko a former 2nd round pick has had a up and down year in 2013 as he can hit and the potential to glove. He has had a lot of errors this year and it makes you wonder if he can stick at SS. Hitting in the high .260’s is ok, but I really believe that Niko is capable of so much more. It will be interesting to see if he can live up to his potential and that is why he is rated so high.
17 Danny Santana- Danny Santana has come a long way from the skinny prospect he was a few years ago to a professional hitter and to some the shortstop of the future. There is definitely a need for a shortstop that can hit. However, 2013 has not been a good year for Santana in the field as he has committed 23 errors at shortstop. I always thought the error totals would come down and because they haven’t a person has to wonder if he will make it. It is still interesting as he has a ton of potential and if he could cut that error total in half he would be the heir apparent to Florimon. So really it is all on Danny Santana’s shoulders because there is a job waiting to be won.
18 Alex Wimmers- People should not forget about Alex Wimmers who was a tough luck victim as after he overcame his case of the yips he hurt his elbow and had to have the dreaded Tommy John surgery. However, much like Kyle Gibson a year ago Wimmers continues to work hard and make progress in his rehab. He is throwing bullpens and getting closer to getting into a game. This year is about getting a few innings in his belt so next year he could possibly contend for a rotation spot sometime in 2014.
19 Ryan Eades- Eades was a 2nd round pick by the Twins in this years draft out of LSU. It is amazing that after what he went through in High School he is in this position. When he was in High School he tore his Labrum which to many could be career ending. However, he worked hard and got a scholarship to LSU and did well there. He throws a low 90’s fastball and is very projectable and was thought of as a safe pick who could get to the majors the quickest. He will report to E-town now that he has signed so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him in Minnesota sometime late 2014.
20 Zack Jones- I personally saw Zack Jones in person last summer when I was in Beloit and man can he bring it. He throws in the high 90’s with decent off speed pitches. The question mark is his control. It will determine if he makes it or not and this year has been a work in progress. His era is good and so is his strikeouts. I suspect though that the reason that he is still in Fort Myers and not in New Britain is his control as he has walked 19 batters in just 30.1 innings. That is way too many walks and that is the thing that will make or break his career. If he can get his walk totals down the sky’s the limit for him as he does everything else very well.